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Thread: Tree's Roadster

  1. #1
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power treeafodo's Avatar
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    Tree's Roadster

    Drivetrain:
    Cruise Control Delete
    A/C Delete
    Power Steering Delete
    Technafit Stainless Steel Clutch Line

    Brakes, Suspension and Wheels:

    Chassis:
    Harddog M1 Hardcore Hardtop Double Diagonal Bar w/built in harness bar

    Interior:
    2 Pole Position Keys

    Exterior:
    Jubiride Flares
    APR GT3 carbon fiber mirrors
    Slick Auto mirror mounts
    Last edited by treeafodo; 12-29-2014 at 06:03 PM.
    Austin.
    Lexy (Little Hobo) - Transforming from Wreck to Race Car.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueiii View Post
    Your priorities seem a bit messed up to me, although that's because I try to get my lap times to decrease.

  2. #2
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power treeafodo's Avatar
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    Well, after spending the last 3 years on Miata boards I finally have one to call mine! It's a 1991 Silver NA. I am the third owner of it. It started life in Virginia and was since imported into Canada to be fairly local to me. I looked at it on October 4, and ended up purchasing it the following Friday. I got a ride from a classmate after class, threw a set of plates on it and drove it home. I made sure to put it through its paces on the way home as well. Runs really strong and everything works perfectly, including the windows, A/C and cruise control although they will be coming out soon.
    I took these pictures the moment the car arrived in the driveway.They don't even do justice of showing how dirty the car actually was. It was bad, really bad!
    First Day Home by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    First Day Home by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    First Day Home by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    First Day Home by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    FILTHY!
    So Dirty... by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    First Day Home by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    First Day Home by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    The problem area that will be fixed.
    Problem Spot by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    Gross Interior by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    174k miles on the odometer and it still runs as strong as my Integra with a 1.8. Oh, and look at that terrible wheel cover...
    174k Miles. Worst Wheel Cover Ever. by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    The bay is really dirty too.
    Filthy Bay by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    Oil Stains by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    The dirt you see in the cowl area is only a small portion of what there actually was. I was pulling hand fulls of wet leaves/dirt/mud, you name it out. The same thing goes for the trunk seal area...
    Much Dirt. Very Gross. Wow. by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    I have lots of work cut out for me, but I'm looking forward to every minute of it.
    Last edited by treeafodo; 10-15-2014 at 10:36 PM.
    Austin.
    Lexy (Little Hobo) - Transforming from Wreck to Race Car.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueiii View Post
    Your priorities seem a bit messed up to me, although that's because I try to get my lap times to decrease.

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  4. #3
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power treeafodo's Avatar
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    From what the previous owner tells me the car has never seen winter in its entire life. It has been stored all winter. The underbody is super mint! The only rust I have found on the car so far is the driver's rocker that I posted above this, and a little bit in the entire bay from a master cylinder leak that was fixed a little while ago.
    After bringing the car home I spent quite a bit of time washing it. The sun went down pretty quickly so I was washing in the dark. This is a quick light paint from when I was done.
    After First Bath by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    A friend of mine removed the pinstriping from his truck with really good results. He ended up lending me his heat gun so I could remove mine.
    Heatgun by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    Went from this
    Before Heat by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    To this. Notice all the dirt left over in the fender? Result from washing in the dark. haha
    After Heat by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Then today I started cleaning the pig sty of the interior.
    OMG by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    As you can see the soft top is ripped and leaks. I was honestly expecting under the carpet to be completely rusted, but I had a nice surprise. Nothing other than a tiny bit on the covers, which I will sand down to remove. The soft top also leaked on the passenger side near the windsheild. The previous owner had a brand new Robbins soft top for it that he gave to me. I just need to have it installed.
    Parcel Shelf by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Terrible picture, but I found a mouse nest on the gas tank.
    Mouse Nest Under Parcel Shelf by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Next up was to start removing the rest of the carpet to get an idea of what I'll be dealing with during this build. Think it's time for a shifter rebuild?
    Oh... by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    This is where the car stands as of now. Carpet is almost out, just need to remove the lower half of the dash. Does anyone know a trick to this? I'd prefer not to cut the carpet.
    Progress by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    I also worked on the front end fitment a little bit and removed the ugly grille. It's still far from perfect, but it's quite a bit better.
    No More Grille. Cleaner. by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Things that need to be addressed so far:
    Rocker panel rust spot
    Drivers fender. Slight bit of rust on bottom from leaves
    Shifter rebuild
    Valve cover gasket kit

    Not a must do, but still needs to be done
    Replace finish panel - small crack
    Replace rear bumper- small crack
    Replace passenger turn signal- vapour seal wasn't in place and water got into it making it look bad.

    Rust wise I'm really happy with it. Shouldn't be too bad to get fixed. Even under the carpet considering how wet it got from all the rain/soft top leaks theres nothing. I was expecting a big spot, or the ECU cover to be rusted like crazy, but there's really nothing. Overall I am happy with my purchase, and I'm looking forward to seeing this car come around.

    Edit: Oh! and the car came with 4 brand new tires the exact same size as the Integra's tires. Looks like I don't need to buy new tires for that any more. I'll just switch them out since the Miata will be sitting for a little while as I get it ready for paint.
    Austin.
    Lexy (Little Hobo) - Transforming from Wreck to Race Car.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueiii View Post
    Your priorities seem a bit messed up to me, although that's because I try to get my lap times to decrease.

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  6. #4
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! WASABI's Avatar
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    Congratulations! I love the NA body in Silverstone. Nice job cleaning her up, and I can't wait for your improvements!


  7. #5
    Mod Squad
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    Yay for 91 Silverstone!

    Have fun cleaning and fixing up your little car

  8. #6
    Super Moderator atank's Avatar
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    Oh how I love the Silverstone's, and without that pinstripe it looks great Austin!!!!!!

  9. #7
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power treeafodo's Avatar
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    The pinstripe and the grille both made it look like an old man's car.
    As of right now my plan is to get the car ready for paint and remove all the rust I run across. I'll get the body parts I need and spray it with a fresh coat of Silverstone.
    Austin.
    Lexy (Little Hobo) - Transforming from Wreck to Race Car.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueiii View Post
    Your priorities seem a bit messed up to me, although that's because I try to get my lap times to decrease.

  10. #8
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power treeafodo's Avatar
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    a rustbucket.
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    After school I got to work on the car.
    At first I only unbolted the bottom of the fenders, to let the dirt out, but there was a ton of dirt in there, so I got to work removing everything.
    Dirt in the Fender by Austin Rajki, on Flickr


    This is where things get a little depressing...While looking at the car before buying it I was pretty thorough looking underneath and at the body, but in my excitement I obviously missed some tell tale signs. What's the first thing that comes to your mind seeing these?
    Tiny 1/4'' bolts where the bumper bolts to the rad support plus overspray.
    Tell Tale Signs by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Woodscrews in the top of the "mouth" opening plus a bend in the rad support.
    Tell Tale Signs by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Ghetto fixes to the piece that goes in the mouth.
    Tell Tale Signs by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Any ways, I got the front end apart.
    Weight Reduction by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    I was expecting this rust. Shouldn't be a hard fix. No other rust, which is a good sign.
    What I Was Expecting by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    Naked by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    This is what I saw when the bumper was off... I'm starting to feel depressed and starting to regret this purchase at this point.
    Ouch by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    It's pretty evident that the car was involved in a collision. Look at the wrinkles where the headlight housing is. Also look just behind the sway bar mounts
    Ouch by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Well, my new baby has frame damage... Look closer. It's not super evident, so I can see how I easily missed that, but its still there...
    Driver's side
    Drivers Side by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Passenger side. Same spot, not nearly as noticeable.
    Passenger by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    After finding that I was ready to just list the car for sale and move on. I was angry at myself for not seeing that before, despressed that I got in this situation, and very upset. I almost shed a tear to be honest. But then I got thinking. I was just about to purchase a 240SX to build a tube front end on it. If I was ready to do that to a 240, why couldn't I do that on a Miata? I have access to a tube bender, and my grandpa is a good welder. I was looking at Danny George's NA. According to Formula Drift rules a tube front starts from the shock towers forward. I got inspecting mine and found this.

    Driver side. Shock tower and back.
    Driver by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Passenger side. Shock tower and back.
    Passenger by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Neither side from the shock tower and back showed any signs of stress. They had no cracks, undercoating was intact and there was no rust on or around the area. The frame rails are straight and rust free all the way to the back. The brackets for the headlights are straight. Both doors open and close perfectly as well as the hood and trunk.
    This is Danny George's bay.
    Ideas by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    I got thinking. I could take the easy way out. I could scrap this shell and move on. This didn't even cross my mind though. Pretty much all of my favourite builds have had huge set backs (not just Miatas) and have bounced back. I'll just adapt and overcome. It'll be a pain, it'll be more costly than just moving on, but it pushes me to build a car that I am proud of knowing what I have overcome. Call me crazy, but I'm sticking with this chassis and will overcome everything.

    Everything I have seen so far tells me there is nothing stopping me from tubing the front end and having a clean chassis again.
    I'd have to make tabs for the headlight to bolt up to, but it's doable. It's just time and material.

    After that whole ordeal and ideas running around in my head, I decided to keep going on this car. I'll be working on removing the dash. First thing to come out was the wheel/air bag. This was my first time ever removing either one of these. This will also be my first time ever removing a dash, so it'll be fun.
    Air bag and Wheel Removed by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    The sun was now going down and my light was disappearing. I tried to remove the eyeball vents, but I couldn't see shortly, so I decided it was time to clean up and cover the car. This is how the little hobo sleeps now. Car cover on to help keep water out. Look at all the dirt under the car. I'm very surpised that there isn't any rust under all that wet dirt.
    Time for Bed by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    Goodnight Little Hobo by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    Austin.
    Lexy (Little Hobo) - Transforming from Wreck to Race Car.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueiii View Post
    Your priorities seem a bit messed up to me, although that's because I try to get my lap times to decrease.

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  12. #9
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power treeafodo's Avatar
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    I made some more progress on the Little Hobo today.
    Removed the eyeball vents and started making progress on removing the interior.
    Almost ready to remove the dash. by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Now the dash was out. The whole progress took me an hour. Not too bad having never done a dash before.
    Dash out by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    Dash out by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    I removed the heater core and took the carpet out. I will be plugging the lines with a big bolt and using a hose clamp to keep coolant from spilling into the bay.
    Nasty Carpet by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Under the carpet is really messy from all the insulation, but it looks pretty clean. We will find out how clean it really is after I'm done work tomorrow.
    Heater Core and Carpet Out by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Does anyone know what this area is for? It is right below the brake pedal. There is a square hole under the rubberized coating. I poked all around it and put a bit of pressure, it doesn't feel like any rust. Plus the hole is a perfect square...
    Floor by Austin Rajki, on Flickr


    Edit: it was pretty cool seeing how all the HVAC blenders and selections worked
    Last edited by treeafodo; 10-17-2014 at 07:16 PM.
    Austin.
    Lexy (Little Hobo) - Transforming from Wreck to Race Car.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueiii View Post
    Your priorities seem a bit messed up to me, although that's because I try to get my lap times to decrease.

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  14. #10
    Supporting Member Dandy's Avatar
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  15. #11
    5,000 rpm - there be torque here! psulja's Avatar
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    If you plan on doing door bars or frame rails do them while the interior is apart
    Paul | IG- @psulja
    Build thread:
    1991 Mariner Blue - Built 1.8 swap, EFR, Fab9Tuning, Tii drivetrain

  16. #12
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power treeafodo's Avatar
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    I will be doing frame rails for sure. Still deciding what route I want to take for the interior. The car will be completely gutted shortly. For frame rails I'll drill the holes and then paint inside them.
    Austin.
    Lexy (Little Hobo) - Transforming from Wreck to Race Car.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueiii View Post
    Your priorities seem a bit messed up to me, although that's because I try to get my lap times to decrease.

  17. #13
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power treeafodo's Avatar
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    Not a lot of progress. I'm feeling really lazy today, plus I really need to study for a couple big tests. Continued pulling the interior apart.
    Dirt Under the Carpet by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Got to the PCM and found this. Got a little worried for a minute.
    Rust? by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Turned out only to be the mounting point. haha
    Nope by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    I also got started on removing the A/C. I got the tanks from the shop to drain the lines out and made a little bit of progress before coming inside. It looks like a mess since all the seam sealer is really dirty, but the only rust I've run into so far have been little surface spots and a bit right under the ebrake handle. Best I can tell that is only surface rust as well. I'll have to get a bottle of Simple Green to actually clean it rather than wipe down. Progress is progress though.
    Getting There by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    Austin.
    Lexy (Little Hobo) - Transforming from Wreck to Race Car.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueiii View Post
    Your priorities seem a bit messed up to me, although that's because I try to get my lap times to decrease.

  18. #14
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power treeafodo's Avatar
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    a rustbucket.
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    Small update. I was talking to a fabricator/welder today about a tube front. He says he's interested in doing the job. He will be coming by sometime next week to look at the car and give me a price for the job.
    Austin.
    Lexy (Little Hobo) - Transforming from Wreck to Race Car.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueiii View Post
    Your priorities seem a bit messed up to me, although that's because I try to get my lap times to decrease.

  19. #15
    3,000 rpm - starting to feel the power treeafodo's Avatar
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    a rustbucket.
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    I did some more work on the Hobo today.
    I brought these panels to school yesterday to sandblast using the glass bead blaster.

    Before sandblasting
    Rusty and Corroded by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    After sandblasting. No more rust.
    Sandblasted by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Today I got to work painting them
    Ready for paint by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Between coats I was removing the A/C and Power Steering.
    Power steering pump and reservoir out.
    PS Pump out by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    The bolt holding the lower A/C line on, was a bit of a pain to get on. I'm sure it would be easier with the LF wheel off, but I managed to get it off.
    Compressor Out by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    While removing all the PS pump and A/C compressor brackets I dropped my ratched which landed in my drain pan.
    Butterfingers by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Weight reduction=more faster.
    Weight Reduction by Austin Rajki, on Flickr
    Weight Reduction by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    With everything out of the way on the left side of the car I could see the full extent to the frame damage I mentioned earlier. Everything is mint from that point back. Perfect for the tube front
    Frame Damage by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    The bay at the moment.
    Filthy Bay by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Here are all the covers looking super fresh and completely rust free.
    Final Product by Austin Rajki, on Flickr

    Does anyone know if the other 4 bolts on the A/C bracket need to be reinstalled? I don't think they do, but I just want to double check.

    Still to do:
    -Buy a 5mm M8x1.25 bolt to go where the front to back facing bolt on the A/C compressor bracket went and torque it in that bore
    Loop the power steering rack (Will be depowering the FM way and cleaning it this winter when it is out of the car
    Wire the fans in parallel
    Finish cleaning the interior
    Clean the rain rail drains as I'm sure they've never been cleaned.
    I know I'm forgetting a bunch of stuff
    Austin.
    Lexy (Little Hobo) - Transforming from Wreck to Race Car.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueiii View Post
    Your priorities seem a bit messed up to me, although that's because I try to get my lap times to decrease.

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